Fug File: Fug The Cover

Fug and Fab the Covers: A Variety of International Vogues


Some of these are so great. And if you liked that Gucci dress Dakota Johnson wore the other night on The Tonight Show, you’re in for a treat.

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Fug or Fab the Cover: Vanity Fair’s 2016 Hollywood Issue


Last year’s Vanity Fair Hollywood issue — beyond being full of clumsy and weird photos — was largely as white as an empty page. At the time we had hoped it would hold up a mirror to Hollywood in a way that engineered change, but it turns out it all it did was foretell The Same As It Ever Was: The Oscars are less diverse than ever.

This year, Vanity Fair’s pivot was to people its Hollywood Issue entirely with women, of varied ages and ethnicities. I’ll break out the three pages in close-ups, because I have FRUSTRATED THOUGHTS about how this group of women was photographed. But here’s the three-page overview:

Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue 2016

God knows it’s nice to see a magazine that would call itself Serious devoting a major tri-fold cover to talented women. But the cynic in me — whom I did not want to come forth as loud as she apparently wants to — looks at this and thinks, “Is it just me, or does this come off like they carefully placed one black woman and one Woman of a Certain Age per page?” (Except for that last one, which has two.) And then I wonder, in an issue whose delicate subhead extols “the movies’ most talented women,” where the female directors are — like, say, Ava DuVernay, snubbed last year for Selma AND from 2015′s Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue. And let’s ask AGAIN why Vanity Fair insists upon excluding TV, which I complained about in 2015 as well. What about game-changers like Jill Soloway or Jenji Kohan? Whither Taraji P. Henson? Or, again, Gina Rodriguez? I know Jane the Virgin isn’t a ratings hit, but it’s a critical darling, Gina is now a TWO-time Golden Globe nominee and one-time winner. Constance Wu and Tracee Ellis Ross are both adored on their shows.

I understand that a magazine like Vanity Fair may only think TV is cool if a movie star — Viola Davis — decides to grace the airwaves (and get real, VF: is Suicide Squad, her lone current movie project, REALLY why she’s included here when she’s currently the new and highly lauded face of Shondaland?). But that talent pool, both behind the camera and on it, could have yielded stuff way more revolutionary than yet another Cate or Jennifer cover. Yes, seven of these women turned out to be Oscar nominees, and Vanity Fair loves that guessing game, trying to ensure several of its Hollywood Issue cover subjects are on the Academy’s short list so that the magazine will look timely. But if anything has been proven in the last year, it’s that the Oscars are just a speck. Hollywood is a much larger story than that. I wish — as it feels like I do ever year – Vanity Fair had chosen to treat it as such, and tell it.

Onto the enlarged versions:

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Fug the Cover: Julianne Hough on Cosmopolitan, February 2016


Oh, this cover.

julianne hough cosmo february 2016 cover

1) Doesn’t that sans-serif font look like the result of an error message? “I’m sorry, [font name] isn’t available so Photoshop has substituted Arial.” Actually the entire thing seems a bit amateurishly art directed from that standpoint.

2) Julianne’s bathing suit is made for a lady with different size breasts.

3) Also I don’t even think it’s a bathing suit. It’s just lingerie, right?

4) Why the lingerie? BORING.

5) Hair looks GREAT and she is so pretty, and I appreciate that she’s trying, but that facial expression is a cross between The Joker and Jessica Simpson. It’s not her best look.

6) I’d find her more confident, in a Yay Ladies kind of way, if she shook her hair back and stuck out her chin and seemed more defiantly secure. This is a little Maxim, maybe? I chalk that up to direction, though.

7) If you’re keeping lust alive, why is it a Hashtag Throwback Thursday?

8) I am not a fan of multiple exclamation marks. I have trouble even using one, unless I am being sarcastic.

9) Say no to cover emojis.

10) Without having read the issue — DISCLAIMER — the cover line that really turns me off is the one about how to live a “$$$ life.” It doesn’t say how to increase your earning power, or get a promotion; it just seems to imply it’s teaching you to live large, as if that — the very showmanship of it all — is what matters. If the story IS actually empowering and useful from a professional standpoint, or even a Secretly Great Budget Swap standpoint, then that headline totally undersells it. And if it’s not, and it’s just teaching you that appearances are all that matter… kids, that’s a Confessions of a Shopaholic trap. Don’t do it.

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Amusingly Played Cover: Derek Zoolander and Penelope Cruz on Vogue, February 2016


Applause, applause: Fug National Jenz actually called Derek Zoolander in the comments of our annual Predict-a-Cover post.

vogue cover february 2016 derek zoolander

I can’t decide if it’s a welcome show of levity, or a sign of End Times, that Anna Wintour is letting Vogue be this gimmicky. I think I’m leaning toward the former, because unlike the time she caved to Planet Kardashia, this wasn’t exactly something the world thought to beat down her door about; rather, it comes off like a fresh and unexpected impulse. We rolled our collective eyes when the magazine genuflected to Kimye, but there’s a sense of humor inherent in putting fashion’s most famous parody on the cover of fashion’s most famous magazine.

As for the cover, I can’t decide if he’s doing Magnum, or Blue Steel, or what. But I’m on board with it. Penelope, however, simply looks bored with it. He is out-modeling her, despite being designed to make fun of the very act of modeling, and he looks perfect doing it: Everything about him pulls focus. Worse, Penelope’s left arm is held stiffly over her abdomen, as if to cover up whatever crimes that outfit is committing there, and her right arm — slung around his neck — looks completely warped, as if it’s made of Silly Putty and is several inches shorter than the other. She’s giving us way less steel, or even magnum, than she is … I don’t even know. Espresso vacancy. I have concerns that Zoolander 2 is going to be a refried mess, but at least he’s winning here. Orange mocha frappuccinos all around.

After the jump, Ben Stiller-as-Zoolander did a very charming “73 Questions” video that includes the phrase “sandwiches are a gateway to cake.”

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Fug the Cover: Chloe Grace Moretz on Marie Claire, February 2016


To put it bluntly: This cover is a loathsome animal.

[Photos: Marie Claire]

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Well Played Covers: Elle’s Women in TV Issue


These are good covers, and it feels nice to get to type that for once.

[Covers: Elle Magazine]

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Well Played Cover, Amandla Stenberg on Teen Vogue


This cover is so freaking good. It’s maybe the best cover I’ve seen on Teen Vogue, and it’s DEFINITELY got more personality and point of view than Old Lady Vogue has had in a while. Plus, the interview with Amandla Stenberg and Solange is well worth a read. It’s hard to believe she’s seventeen. Not because she’s so obviously smart, although she is  — lots of seventeen-year-olds are smart! — but because she is so thoughtful and mature. I feel like I was in a constant state of immature flailing until I was about 32. (It makes sense that she and Kiernan Shipka are good friends; they seem like similarly composed women.) All that, and it’s so eye-catching. Well done, Teen Vogue.

[Photos: Teen Vogue]

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